Today, we’re surrounded by intelligent machines – the machines that can read, imitate, and respond by understanding the people and processes. For instance, Gmail uses Machine Learning (ML) to stop unwanted email or spam from entering your inbox, it also analyses all previous conversations, pays specific attention the way a person responds to generate automatic replies.
Swiggy, the food delivery application implements Artificial Intelligence (AI) using chatbots which handles millions of messages and conversations each day. With both these apps being used regularly by millions of users, the technology used by them to serve each user individually implies the scale at which it operates.
Now imagine the same technology being used by a marketing team for their daily functions.
Each activity or campaign is being recorded in real-time on a centralised platform – be it digital, TV, print, radio, out-of-home or BTL. For the kind of budgets, big brands incur each month in marketing, such modern and private centralised platforms can act as regulators – to ensure every penny being spent is properly utilised and a guiding the campaign in the right direction.
How Can Modern Tech Transform Marketing? Traditional + Digital Marketing.
The marketing industry today is witnessing a widespread adoption of technologies in the digital marketing space. Technologies like AI, ML and Big Data processing with almost all of them having a prime focus to track the digital customer journey and design tailor-made campaigns for a digital medium.
But till date, a substantial percentage of the money goes into traditional channels which are not possible to track digitally. Hence most brands and agencies struggle to keep a track in real-time leading to inefficiencies as the data exists in silos in an organisation.
Apart from this, there is no standardised platform to keep a check activity on executed vs planned. Even if a single TV spot is placed at the wrong time or is aired at a wrong channel, the company loses lakhs of money. Similarly, for every medium, pre vs post along with post vs 3rd party checking becomes a critical process requirement.
And then there are numerous third-party alliances with which marketers need to collaborate to check that each activity is carried out properly. There is a lot of hard work, planning, resources and manpower that goes into preparing and executing marketing plans.
A lot today is dependent on the agencies and vendors to provide reports. The real fear brands should have is of the target not hitting the right spot because the course correction was not made at the right time due to lack of data visibility.
A centralised platform enabled with the right process and apt use of modern technologies is the answer to these long-existent problems that marketing has faced and still continues to do so. This domain rich tech-platform can assist at every stage of the marketing campaign, be it planning, execution and analysis.
A manager while handling a 50-member team can distribute responsibility with absolute transparency. Preparation and approval of budget plans and POs can happen on a single set-up along with agencies being on board on the same platform.
Automation of all these activities enables speedy work processes and quicker turnaround time for every campaign. Detailed mapping of spends planned vs executed will provide an overview of the campaign and can assist marketer to ensure that every activity is hitting the right spot. This will also make the reconciliation and settle a hassle-free and transparent process.
Finally, to the analysis stage, while the platform is collecting clean and rich data, using AI/ML the benchmarks will be forecasted for future planning. This not only helps in setting the goals for upcoming campaigns but also helps in raising issues against the mistakes of third-party collaborators. Marketing spends and activity can be sliced and diced up to any level and viewed at real-time.
Going further, with use of intuitive marketing analytical techniques and ML, this granular spends can be clubbed with sales/leads/any KPI, and actually forecast the impact of marketing on sales by brand, category, market and medium. Looking from an audit perspective, all data can be accessed with link to documents and conversations mapped to it.
This brings efficiency even during internal audits. So, if modern technology is implemented at the right place with proper scrutiny, it can prove utilitarian and resolve silos across departments, locations, hierarchy, mediums and processes.
Sounds Amazing Right? Then What Is Hindering Such Adoption Of Modern Tech
One of the key reasons why such a tech-platform in India hasn’t evolved is due to scarcity of teams who have a combined knowledge of technology and marketing. To build such a platform you need to merge processes with modern technologies like AI/ML. Brands need to realise the benefit of data and collecting real-time data can harness in the future. For this, brands should be willing to invest in technology when it comes to marketing, as it is done so in other functions such as sales, production etc.
Also, there is a huge scepticism that intelligent machines can take up human jobs. While these technologies can be used for better accuracy and faster speed, human involvement by understanding emotions, applying creativity, imparting judgment and strategizing according to real-world situations are still the tasks that make humans the central functionary of the whole process.
Though the new-age technology is paving a way to yet another Industrial revolution, there should be a close check on these technologies being used ethically. We live in a world where data is considered as currency, and with easier accessibility of these self-learning technologies to masses, strict regulations are needed to be implemented to ensure its fair use.